Monday, July 19, 2010

Burka

Philip Hollobone’s arguments for a France-style burka ban make little sense – “it’s part of British culture to see people’s faces and say ‘Good morning’”? Oh really? Has he been to any British cities lately? Anyway, by that logic we’d have to ban low hats and high scarves in bad weather. But France generally gets it wrong. From the British perspective the only thing that matters is whether all the women who wear burkas are being forced to wear them against their will. If some but not all are being forced, then the possible ban available would be on the forcing of burka-wearing. And by all means, feminist or moderate pressure groups can feel free to encourage Muslim women not to wear it. But if at least some women are choosing to wear the burka, then that’s the end of the ban idea.

The thing was neatly summed up by a correspondent to a BBC Radio 2 programme yesterday morning. “When I’ve been to Arab countries,” she wrote, “I have had to cover my head and body. I strongly feel that when they come to this country they should obey our rules.” Her error, and the nub of it being, of course, that we don’t have rules like that.

16 comments:

malty said...

Just a repeat of the old ban the turban wheeze, had the Sikhs up in arms. There are of course practical considerations, teaching children whilst talking through a letterbox is hardly conducive to good education as with the Sikhs, the crash helmet ain't a good fit on top of the old turban.
I would ban jeans worn by over thirty five year old men. a crime against good taste.

worm said...

perhaps we could 'kill two birds with one stone' as it were, and bring burka wearing women into our capitalist society a bit more by offering them money to carry brightly coloured advertising messages or public transport timetables on their outfits?

Gaw said...

It shouldn't be made illegal but it should be discouraged over time - by a web of conventions, regulations, discussions and even jokes. I'm confident that eventually we'll be able to put this jeans-wearing by the over-35s behind us.

Gaw said...

Worm, mention of killing birds with stones is in bad taste in this context. Great idea though.

Gaw said...

Norm has an intriguing post up today, which highlights how what's tolerant sauce for the burga'd goose is also sauce for the blind and enbussed gander:

http://normblog.typepad.com/normblog/2010/07/the-dog-stays.html

malty said...

Sort of ban the barker, Gaw.

malty said...

One clothing ban that should be immediate is the total, permanent banning of the kilt, come on porridge scoffers, cross dressing in public?

Brit said...

But both the jean and the kilt are at least superior to the grey jogging bottom.

Gaw said...

I suggest enforcing the wearing of the kilt so that it covers the head and shoulders of the wearer, and nothing else.

malty said...

Agreed, Brit and Gaw, the sporran would become redundant.

Joby said...

I just feel sorry for the ninjas - what on earth are they going to do?

Sean said...

The Wahhabi of Saudi will be pleased.of course you cannot ban it from the public domain, but you can from the states domain, ie, public property, access to rights and benefits ect.

Hey Skipper said...

I would ban jeans worn by over thirty five year old men. a crime against good taste.

I am fifty-five and still wear jeans. What's worse, I am wearing them instead of pajamas as I type this.

I hang my head in doubleplus ungood shame.

Hey Skipper said...

And now for something completely different. Or at least unexpected:

Syria is banning the burqa at universities.

Brit said...

Only surprising if you have certain simplistic assumptions.

Joseph Condron said...

We live in an age of instant gratification - that is why the ban is wanted. People don't want to wait for a possible integration.

Perhaps they shouldn't have to - after-all, time is the most precious of commodities.